Consider this when developing your Twitter, social media strategy.
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The article below was written to help Internet marketers that are using Twitter as part of their social media strategy. This inbound marketing blog post was created in an effort to educate on certain methods that may help or may hurt the social media cause.
Twitter can be a powerful tool for the social media element of your inbound marketing strategy (Internet marketing):
To create a successful inbound marketing campaign, including search engine optimization, regular blog posts and a well rounded social media component, ,you will undoubtedly begin using Twitter to spread your social media and business messages.
Twitter is a great way to use social media to advance your message, out reach, gain exposure, make new connections and distribute your select messages in a strategic method. All this being true, I wrote this blog article to advise you against stressing quantity over quality.
Think about who you really want reading your social media. These messages define who you are and describe the business you have spent so much time developing. If your audience is not really in your target market or even connected to your target market, then why spend so much effort (and money) communicating your solutions and messages? This isn't a true reflection of what social media really is. Quality is better than quantity.
There are many tools available online that were created to help you manage your social media accounts like Twitter communications. Some these tools let you automatically follow those that are following you, reply to follows and other twitter short cuts. As a disciple of the HubSpot school of inbound marketing and a student of the great book Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, I am not a proponent of these social media tools or methods.
I think that the obvious reason here is that you really are better off knowing who you are following and who is following you in more detail. Where is the sense in having organizations or individuals follow you if your information stream will never provide them benefit. If they are only a number and you issue your hard earned tweets, blogs and status updates to deaf ears, you have really achieved no substance or traction in advancing your remarkable content. Yes there is always the chance you may have your message spread through these social media channels but those chances are much better if the people on the other end value the content you provide.
I have even begun to notice that there is a large element of tweeters that will initially follow you in hopes you will reciprocate, only to wait a certain period of time, then hit the "unfollow" link. Their social media objective is obvious. They are only attempting to amass numbers without the thought as to the quality of those numbers. You can see that there is no real social or business interaction taking place in this example. You are now reading their tweets (and maybe retweeting) but they no longer are reading yours or really cared to in the first place. Yes you can track them down and unfollow yourself but I'm sure you can see the huge waste of time and effort by adding this process to your operation systems and your social media plan. You can also see the entire purpose of Twitter has been diluted and then only moves in the direction of pure or traditional advertising. As a true believer in the inbound marketing philosophy, this is a distressing concept.
If relationships are the ultimate goal of inbound marketing and social media, then this method of establishing connections doesn't help as much, especially when compared to the fundamental concepts created by Twitter at its inception. As pointed out in the book, Inbound Marketing, this type of relationship building is really no better than going to a business networking function and evaluating the success by the number of business cards you handed out in that room. Even though you may get a lead or two, this is hardly the level of relationship building and social media development that was intended and is available by using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter in the intended way.
Another pitfall with using these social media automated systems is that it's very possible that the people or businesses on the other end of your messages see right away that you are using this kind of automation tool in your social media development and it diminishes your credibility each time.
Be social, act social (it is social media after all), try to help those that really want to understand what you have to say. Stay consistent with your strategy. Listen, and learn what your follows are really able to use. Provide value, assistance, support and education. What are your audience's issues and challenges and if you have info with substance or data that would help them see some of these challenges through, you become the hero and they pass on your offerings. They spread the word and this is one of the main ideas behind the creation of social media.